Long awaited recognition
Only 50M€ per year for 7 years, instead of 200M€/year...
Greener mobility solutions remain the poor relation of the investment plan
The brakes on bicycle use in France
Address by Mr Édouard PHILIPPE, Prime Minister - Presentation of the "Bicycle Plan" Angers Friday 14 September 2018Check against deliveryMr. Minister of State, dear François,Minister, dear Elizabeth,Mr. Mayor, dear Christophe,Ladies and gentlemen of the elected officials,Dear friends,When you're a child, you often hear that "you can't forget your bike". That's true on an individual level. It's a little less true for our country, which has a paradoxical relationship with cycling, to say the least. First of all, we invented it, or at least its ancestor, the velocipede. Secondly, France is a great cycling nation: I was able to see that once again this summer when I attended a stage of the Tour de France.However, in France, cycling is still a sport. A popular sport, very widespread. But a sport and too rarely a means of transport to go shopping or to work, as is the case in Northern European countries, which are less passionate about cycling than we are.Sometimes things are obvious and implacably obvious. Such as, for example, talking about the "cycling plan" here in Angers, with Ministers François DE RUGY and Elisabeth BORNE. First of all, I received a wonderful welcome when I came here on 27 October 2017 for the World Electronic Forum. And I was therefore delighted at the idea of returning there.Above all, he is the President of the Agence de Financement des Infrastructures de Transport de France (AFITF) and, as such, one of the main players in our country's mobility policy. Which is a polite way of saying that he is the one who holds the purse strings. The Angevins are also "cycling champions". Collectively I hear and if I believe the barometer of the French Federation of Bicycle Users, which has ranked the city of Angers 3rd among cities where it is good to ride a bike. Finally, Angers is home to the headquarters of an important agency, ADEME. So all I had to do was comply.On September 19, 2017, I had the pleasure of opening the national conference on mobility. This conference was a laboratory of ideas. One of the big winners, to the applause of the conference, was without a doubt the bicycle: 113,000 responses to the survey launched by the federation of bicycle users; 207 parliamentarians who co-signed a platform last April to support an "ambitious bicycle plan", this shows the strong commitment of the national representation for ecology and for the bicycle, and I am thinking in particular of Matthieu Orphelin, because this is his home, because he has been a force for proposal and has greatly encouraged the government to be ambitious on this subject; and the hundreds of postcards that French people have sent us, including myself - I thank them for that - calling for a cycling plan that meets their expectations.You can be 150 years old and meet very powerful, very current needs, both individually and collectively.Need for time, need for flexibility, need for accessibility for the French who want to be able to move quickly, well, that is to say safely, at the best cost, and without depending on possible traffic jams.The need for sobriety, particularly in terms of carbon, the need for attractiveness in city centres and the need for mobility solutions that are both practical and economical.Cycling is therefore a solution to real everyday problems and real social issues. And a very concrete way to participate in the country's ecological transition. But to achieve this, you have to get organised. Organizing to remove, if you'll pardon the expression, a certain number of "roadblocks" that prevent or discourage cyclists from moving freely.Indeed, the finding is indisputable: the proportion of journeys by bicycle in France is particularly low. Cycling accounts for 3% of daily journeys, i.e. half the European average.Hence this ambitious plan. A plan that will triple the proportion of our daily commuting by bicycle - from 3% today to 9% in 2024, the year we host the Games. A plan that is organized around 4 main axes and of which I would now like to say a few words.First of all, I would like to say that safety on the roads is a priority for me. Everyone should be able to ride a bike without feeling that they are putting themselves in danger. Despite an improving overall figure, August 2018 was the deadliest month for cyclists in the last five years. I refuse to accept any fatality and I want the increase in cycling to go hand in hand with increased safety measures.The first axis is therefore that of safety, with 2 main levers.The first lever is that of "bicycle paths":Everyone knows that the construction of cycle paths is the responsibility and competence of cities and conurbations. And the State is obviously not intended to replace them.On the other hand, it can play a role of impulse and accompaniment. The "Cycling Plan" provides for the following:The creation of a national "active mobility" fund that we will endow with 350 million euros to support projects to create cycle routes in communities over a period of 7 years. This fund will be integrated into the AFITF's multi-year trajectory.This fund will primarily target route disruptions caused by major infrastructure, particularly state infrastructure. Ruptures that discourage cyclists because they are very dangerous.We will launch the first calls for projects in 2019 to identify, together with the local authorities that need to use this tool, the precise places where we should intervene as a priority.As of today, ADEME is preparing to launch a call for projects to help local authorities that feel the need to define their networks and their cycling policy, so that this dynamic benefits all territories;This is the first time that the State has mobilised so much to finance cycling infrastructure.The second lever we're going to use is the traffic law. A code which, from the outset, was designed primarily around the car. The idea now is to adapt it to other forms of mobility, in particular the bicycle, so that cyclists are safer. Two examples of these adaptations:From the beginning of 2019, we will systematically provide bike locks upstream of traffic lights in built-up areas to improve visibility, particularly for heavy goods vehicles. In the medium term, all existing roadways will be brought into line with the new regulations;Wherever technically possible, we will extend two-way cycling to 50 km/h lanes in built-up areas.The second axis of this "bike plan": the fight against theft. In France, 300,000 homes are victims of bicycle theft every year. Hence two main initiatives:Firstly, we want to develop the development of secure bicycle parking close to places where people travel every day. In existing buildings (homes, businesses, shopping centres), bicycle parking spaces will have to be built during all works. In stations, we will ask the SNCF to adopt a clear schedule for the construction of these car parks;We are then going to make systematic the marking of bicycles by salespeople: thanks to the industry's involvement, each bicycle will have a unique identifier that cannot be falsified. A marked bike is a bike that is returned when it is found by the police; it is also the possibility of more easily dismantling concealment networks. The idea is that, in the long term, unmarked bikes will no longer find buyers. We will defend this "anti-theft" strategy at European level to further increase its effectiveness.Third axis: create a favourable framework for recognising the bicycle as a mode of transport in its own right, particularly for "home-to-work" journeys. The role of the employer is major here. The bicycle plan thus provides for two particularly structuring measures:The first is to create a "sustainable mobility package".Private and public employers will be able to contribute up to 400 euros tax and social security free to the home-to-work travel expenses of their employees or agents by bicycle. This lump sum will replace the bicycle kilometre allowance, which is too complex to implement, and will have a ceiling twice as high.And as I am keen for the State to set an example when it comes to ecological transition, we will apply a flat rate of 200 euros to all employees of its administrations and operators who come to work by bicycle.Second measurement :We are going to introduce bicycles into the tax mileage scale that is used to reimburse the costs of trips that employees make on a professional basis with their personal vehicle.Again, this is essentially an administrative simplification measure, but also an important measure to put the bicycle on the same level as the car or motorised two-wheelers.Fourth and last axis: spreading the culture of cycling in society, facilitating the recognition of this mode of transport. And this at all ages:Children, when they are at school: by 2022, we will generalize the "Know how to ride" system that already exists in some academies, which consists of ensuring that children entering the sixth grade know how to ride a bike independently and safely.Adults, using their smartphone to plan their trips: we will open up the data for rental services so that all travel information services will include bike offers. This will allow us to know in real time whether self-service bikes are available (with or without a docking station as here in Angers). We will also enable mobility organising authorities to make the best use of the emerging offers of self-service bicycles without a docking station, free-floating, to use the right jargon: what works here in Angers must be able to work elsewhere, which is why tomorrow these organising authorities will be able to impose specifications on free-floating operators to ensure that they comply with certain quality criteria, without hindering their entry into the market.It was Jean Bobet, Louison Bobet's younger brother, and himself a former racing cyclist, who once said: "Cycling is the means and perhaps the art of extracting pleasure from a constraint". The constraint today is that of global warming. That of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. That of air quality in cities. Stress.The cycling plan is one way among others to adapt to it, which does not prevent, on the contrary, a real pleasure, a real well-being in our cities and our countryside. After all, in a society that is a bit addicted to speed, it is sometimes good to know how to "freewheel".
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